Friday, October 19, 2018
 United Dairymen of Arizona Improve Milk Delivery With A "First-of-its-Kind" Mobile Logistics System  

The United Dairymen of Arizona has deployed a first-of-its-kind milk mobile logistics system that allows its milk contractor haulers to paperlessly manage their routes and move up to 13 million pounds of milk a day.


The Tempe-based milk co-op was the first in the country in 2008 to automate its milk collection, but the UDA faced aging Motorola hand-held devices and an app that needed updating, said Gayle Lindsay, UDA’s vice president of information technology.


Lindsay’s assistant, Eric Hale, found Software Ops LLC, a Scottsdale-based mobile app developer, to design the “UDA Delivers” mini iPad app.

The custom platform is used 24/7 by 70 local milk haulers picking up milk from 80 Arizona dairies and delivering it to either the Tempe UDA processing plant or another local processing plant, such as Safeway, Kroger or Shamrock, Lindsay said.

“Arizona has some of the largest dairies in the country,” said Lindsay, adding that each truck can hold 52,000 pounds of milk.

UDA started testing the new app in September, and went live in December. It is now fully deployed to all drivers, Lindsay said. “The driver is responsible for their haul of sealed milk,” Lindsay said. “When they drop off their milk, the seal's integrity is checked.”


Using the mini iPad, the driver uses the app to scan and collect the required seals, mark their route, enter their milk sampler license number and manage their route from pick up to delivery.


In the old days, and now when the computers are down, this was done with a seven-part paper form. “This saves money and improves efficiencies,” Lindsay said. “We don’t have to read handwritten forms anymore.”

The new platform also offers a dispatch portal with computer maps of all the trucks on the road so the transportation managers and contract companies can easily see where everyone is, Lindsay said.

“We can manage the loads and routes better and can easily run reports,” she said. “Dispatch can also easily change routes if a dairy is down or construction problems arise. Before, we had no idea where the drivers were other than the radios.” Any communication is sent through the iPad now instead of calling the driver, Lindsay said.

At first it was difficult for some of the old-school drivers to make the electronic move, but moving to the iPad was relatable since most have smartphones, Lindsay said.


“What the most interesting thing about this is not the technology but the application of mobile technology to an industry that seems not so high-tech,” said Joe Michels, president and CEO of Software ops, in a blog. “I cannot say enough about the leadership at UDA to see how mobile technology could be used to help them better manage their milk hauling logistics needs.”

Larry Boehlke, a driver for Desert Milk Transport Logistics for five years, said the app is like “night and day” from the old system.

“This is very easy to use. The old system crashed a lot,” Boehlke said. “The new app has a couple hiccups, but all-in-all I’m really happy with it. And I’m not a big computer nerd.”

After the milk is delivered, UDA uses the milk to make powder, butter, cream, condensed and skim milk. These items are sold to other processing facilities to make products such as baby formula, sour cream and Greek yogurt. UDA also makes cheese and cheese curds, and sells it and other local products at the Milk N More retail store at the Tempe processing plant on the southwest corner of Broadway and Hardy.

The UDA and Software Ops entered an agreement with, the leader in dairy industry software, to allow them to take over the platform so other dairy co-ops can use it, Michels said.  “ will expand the app’s capabilities and take it to the broader dairy co-op marketplace, marketing our app under the name, Mobile Manifest,” he said.


Source: Phoenix Business Journal


Posted on Thursday, July 30, 2015 (Archive on Thursday, August 06, 2015)
Posted by  Contributed by